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Location: Arkansas
Joined: 05/04/2003
Posts: 33
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

I'm looking to buy a .375 H&H Mag and am wondering if this is a complete rifle for all African Game, particularly the Big Five (Buff, Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard). If not, is there such a caliber?

Anonymous
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Rick, I was once told by some very experienced hunters, that a .375H&H is NOT the caliber for Rhino or Elephant. They suggested something that would penetrate deep using a 500 grain bullet. This also would leave out the .416 Rigby or .416 Remington mag.

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Location: Central Oregon
Joined: 04/12/2005
Posts: 2
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

I claim no particular expertise. I listen a lot and read a lot. Most PH's want the client to bring a .375HH or bigger rifle that the client is able to shoot well. It is better, I have been told, to bring a .375 that you can shoot well than a larger caliber with which you are not comfortable. The .375 is the legal minimum for dangerous game in some countries, and it has been successfully used for all game in Africa. It is the "do-it-all" cartridge for Africa. I have taken a number of non-dangerous game in Africa with .375. But when I return for buffalo, I will be taking my 458 Lott... not because I have to have the Lott (after all, my PH is there with a stopping rifle as back up) but because I like its performance and I believe it is more forgiving. It has better penetration and more impact energy than the .375.

The caveat is this: I reload for all of my firearms and this cuts down on the cost of practice. I have fired about 150 rounds from field positions with the Lott and I will have to fire about another 200 before we are ready. I think that anyone going to Africa needs to devote this kind of time and energy to practice.... especially with a true big bore.

Anonymous
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Paul how much muzzle jump does your .458-LOTT create when fired, in relation to a horizontal line from being held at the shoulder? Most Lotts I have witnessed during firing full load 500 grain bullets, did indeed have more vertical rise than I like to see in such a rifle. Simply meaning that the second shot would NOT be near as fast to get off on an approaching animal.

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Location: Anchorage AK
Joined: 12/03/2004
Posts: 46
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Most PHs I have talked to in researching my trip have said that first and foremost bring something you can shoot well. That being said, I won't be taking my .375H&H. I will be hunting Cape Buff and even though it does work and has worked beautifully on every other animal I have shot, I have also heard and read that you need to be spot on with the 375 for Buff or things go bad quickly. Mine is also a Ruger #1 and as fast as I can reload, I want faster, just in case. For this reason, I am taking my 416 Rigby. Loaded with 400 grain Speer AGS soft points or solids it'll do fine so long as I do my part.

Again, the biggest thing is, take what you can shoot well that hits like a ton of bricks and fits the caliber restrictions.

As for an all around Africa caliber... Probably the same kind answer to that as the same question in the states. Depends on what the guy has in his hands RIGHT NOW.

Do you want to shoot dikdik with the 458 Lott you brought because you plan on hunting elephant? What if you happen to find your elephant while hunting plains game carrying your 300 WinMag? Pick what you can shoot well, load it properly and practice I guess is my best answer.

Like I mentioned, for me, 400 grain AGS SPs and solids at 2375 fps, and 350 grain Speer GS at 2510 fps for plains game in the Rigby.

Your milage may vary.

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Location: Central Oregon
Joined: 04/12/2005
Posts: 2
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?
Quick-Sand wrote:
Paul how much muzzle jump does your .458-LOTT create when fired, in relation to a horizontal line from being held at the shoulder? Most Lotts I have witnessed during firing full load 500 grain bullets, did indeed have more vertical rise than I like to see in such a rifle. Simply meaning that the second shot would NOT be near as fast to get off on an approaching animal.

The answer is that it does have more "muzzle jump" than a smaller caliber. I am aware of that and that is one of the reasons that I practice a lot. My practice includes multiple shots from field positions. I know that I need to be able to carefully place the first shot and then quickly, carefully place follow up shots. I am doing that well now and practicing to do better. Your point is a good one though. I think that the 375 or other smaller bores are more conducive to follow up shots. I am pushing to perform as well with my Lott. I am now becoming very comfortable with the cartridge and the process. This seems to be working with the help of a rifle that has been well tuned to me (twice) by very competent gun smiths.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that if the .375 is good for follow ups, why not switch to a 6.5 (like Bell) which would be even quicker with less muzzle jump? I don't think so....at least for me.

Anonymous
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Paul, forgetabout the 6.5! That is a very good plains game caliber (animals that weigh under 400 pounds) and that is all I have to say on the 6.5 caliber.

I honestly believe that the .458 Winchester magnum, with proper chosen bullet and powder is my choice for best caliber on the scene today as far as dangerous game go. It has proven to have plenty of sectional density and penetration ability on such animals. It can be handled by most who positively which to hunt dangerous game with that caliber. Much more suited for a quick follow up shot with a 500 grainer than the LOTT caliber.

The 458 Win mag has also been used by many for hunting dangerous game, with a Barnes 450 grain X bullet as well, so once again the .458 Win mag becomes for managable because of less recoil to the shooters body. I know it sure worked for me shooting my .458 Winny with 450 grain bullets.

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Nice SMOOTH, STRAIGHT stock. Weight FORWARD. IRON sights. A GOOD sling. Heavy overall WEIGHT and some PRACTICE.
I would also probably have a recoil suppressor (not a muzzle brake)
All of these are what make a good large bore much easier to handle.
If I was going after dangerous game or any game in Africa. I would want to be the hunter that dropped the game. The PH would be there as a back up.
The 375 H&H is a very fine round but, I would leave it in camp for the dangerous game hunt.

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Location: Arkansas
Joined: 05/04/2003
Posts: 33
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

This is great info for me folks. I am now looking at the .416 Rigby and .458 Lott. I've never been around either caliber, so I wonder if the recoil is so tremendous I would not enjoy the practice (let alone develop a flinch that might get me trampled, gored, eaten or otherwise come to harm).

Are these calibers sheer brutes to shoot? Recoil is different for everyone, as we all know. Santa brought me a .300 Weatherby Mag and it doesn't kick as sharp as my 7 Mag, but you can feel the hard power push back at you. I sometimes think that if the 150 lb. European 100 years ago fired these cannons without too much hesitancy then a 6'0 260 pounder should have a chance - but who knows until they squeeze off a round.

Thoughts?

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Joined: 02/01/2005
Posts: 25
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Dude you’re plenty big enough to handle either one of those calibers; unless you have a rotator cuff problems or fused vertebras.

If worst come to worst you could always get a recoil reducers like limb savers or something.
Big smile

Good luck and don't get eaten or stomped.

MLG
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Joined: 12/26/2004
Posts: 2
Does An All-Around Dangerous Game Cartridge Exist?

Rick

Strongly suggest you shoot a 458 Lott before you buy. There are not too many people who can consistently shoot one of these without flinching. Recoil is huge.

I think most Phs would much rather guide someone with a 375 he can shoot really well than a guy with a large caliber and a flinch as a result.

If you are going on a guided hunt, then a 375 is plenty gun for anything that walks this planet with the right projectile. Sure, there are better on Rhino (not many get to shoot them anymore) or elephant but the 375 with good shot placement will do.

Anyone who tells you a 375 H&H is not a Dg caliber does not know what he is talking about.

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